Last Updated on 11th January 2022 by
When I looked up what dry ice is made from, I was kind of surprised, and I bet you will be surprised to learn as well that it isn’t made from water. It’s not technically ice, as it comes from a gaseous form of carbon dioxide. I thought that was so weird, and what is even weirder is that dry ice is even colder than your typical ice.
You may have already known that, but hopefully I can tell you a few things about dry ice that you don’t know yet, especially how you can use it. Some of us may have seen dry ice used as a party trick, but that’s definitely not the only way you can use it. I want to share with you how to use dry ice in a few ways that you might be interested in.
Keep Things Cool
The main we people use dry ice is to keep drinks and foods cold. Remember, this is colder than ice made from water, so it is very good at cooling down hot stuff and at keeping all of your cold things cool and safe from bacteria. Most kinds of bacteria cannot survive at subzero temperatures, so safe storage is important for food safety, and dry ice makes that easy to pull off.
What I love about dry ice is that it doesn’t leave any watery pool when it reaches room temperature. It simply evaporates back into a gaseous vapour, so no mess and no fuss. However, it is way colder than regular ice, so if you are putting food or beverages into a cooler with dry ice to keep them cool, expect them to freeze. How to use dry ice in a cooler? Make sure that the dry ice isn’t touching anything you want to keep chilled rather than cold.
You can put a barrier up between your items and the dry ice. Most people will use a few towels. Whatever you do, make sure that only stuff you want flash frozen comes into contact with the dry ice. That includes your hands. You should not touch dry ice with bare hands. Instead use specialized gloves that are made for handling dry ice safely. That way, you avoid freezer burns that can hurt and leaves scars behind.
How to use dry ice in a cooler for drinks? One method I like is to flash freeze all the drinks when I go for a picnic or some other outing. So, I place them touching the dry ice and they stay cold for most of the day. When I am ready to use them, they are still cold, even though the dry ice has already evaporated.
Dry ice is pretty unstable and will evaporate quickly, so be prepared for it to disappear fast after it is placed into a room temperature setting.
How to Use Dry Ice for Fog
One really cool way to use dry ice is to make a fog effect, and I know a lot of people look up how to use dry ice for Halloween to create a cool, spooky atmosphere. If you want to make dry ice into smoke or fog, you just need to add some dry ice or hot water regularly.
So, get a tub or container of warm water and then place a few chinks of dry ice into it every now and then. Remember that as the dry ice evaporates, it will turn into a gas. So, if you are wanting to know how to use dry ice for smoke, it’s all about having enough dry ice on hand to control the distribution and keep up the smoke effects for as long as you need it.
How to Use Dry Ice for Camping
You know how to use dry in in cooler and to make smoke with it, but how to use dry ice for camping? Remember that this kind of substance will disappear fast, so there probably isn’t a way for you to keep it cool and intact for long when you are staying outdoors. If you bring an RV and have a power source, you can keep the dry ice in a freezer, but otherwise expect it to evaporate quick.
If I were using dry ice for camping, I would use it as a way to keep drinks and foods cold for long hikes and for times when I don’t have any power source nearby to power a freezer or fridge. The dry ice can be use to flash freeze the food and beverages, keeping hem cold throughout the day. This is a great way to keep your meats cold until you can use them. Just put some dry ice in a cooler with your meat and other perishables and keep that cooler close until you are ready to cook up the food.
How to Use Dry Ice in Drinks
You may have seen a smoking cocktail before and wondered how someone managed to make that. It is a really cool effect, and it is possible through the magic of dry ice. The dry ice is formed into cubes with a hammer, screwdriver and safety googles.
The ice is dropped into the drink and falls straight to the bottom. That means there isn’t a big risk that you will drink it as you imbibe your beverage.
You don’t want the dry ice to come into contact with your skin, and you definitely don’t want to drink it. The dry ice will make smoke come out of the beverage (vapour, actually), and it does not change the flavour of the drink. It will make it colder, though. If your chunk of dry ice is large enough, it will flash freeze your entire drink, so be careful about that.
Dry Ice- How to Use It Safely
One thing to keep in mind about using dry ice this way is that it needs ventilation. Dry ice should be stored with a mind for ventilation, so while it is okay to store it in a cooler, you don’t want the gas to evaporate and escape inside a closed vehicle or a small, closed room. When you are making smoke with dry ice, be sure to do that in a room with plenty of ventilation. Breathing in lots of evaporating carbon dioxide gas is not healthy for you.
Always make sure you use proper handling tools for dry ice, like gloves that can protect your hands. Work gloves or anything very thick should keep your hands safe. You just don’t want to come into contact with dry ice for more than a few seconds. That can be unsafe, and you should not risk it.
Dry ice can be used in a lot of different ways and these are just a few I like to do myself. As long as you’re careful with it, you can have a lot of fun with dry ice and be able to use it to keep food and drink cold very effectively.
I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food! You can find my Facebook here
Wednesday 8th of December 2021
It's nice to know that dry ice can be used for flash freezing. I'm interested in knowing more about different food preservation techniques that I can use for camping trips in the future. Perhaps it's time for me to consider looking for dry ice sales soon.